Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bad Penny

I can't believe it. It can't be happening. But it is.

We took Bonnie to Ocean City, Maryland on the 28th and 29th. She loved it. She had never seen the Atlantic Ocean, or a boardwalk. She enjoyed it all.

Today, June 30th, we took her to the airport at 4:30 PM. Said goodbye. She cried. She said again and again what a wonderful time she had had with us. She's sweet.

On the way home, my husband said that he had missed me, and I said I had missed him. We have been together of course, but with Bonnie...well, it's all Bonnie, all the time. Anyway, we stopped and ate dinner, and came home. Sat down, watched the news.

Then at 7:00 PM, the phone rings. It's Bonnie. She's still at the airport. Mechanical problems have cancelled her flight. So, my freedom was short lived. Back to the airport we went, picked her up, and here she is.

She has a flight at 8:40 AM tomorrow, so I get to go to the airport again. She's just like a bad penny. *sigh* *sniff*

Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 27, 2005

More travels with Bonnie

On Sunday I took Bonnie and daughter formerly known as Lucinda Sans to see Ghosts of the Abyss. This is a 3-D movie shown at an IMAX theater. It's about the Titanic. There was also a Titanic artifact exhibiton at the museum connected to the theater. Pretty good, not great. Came home and collected my husband, then went out for Mexican food.

Today, dddragon and her twins went with us to a Barbeque place called Memphis Blues. Good food. We always wonder if we're good customers, now that we "know" Jevanking.

Tomorrow EARLY my husband and I are taking Bonnie to Ocean City, Maryland. It turns out that Bonnie has never seen the Atlantic. I figure that's just wrong. She leaves on Thursday. Somehow I had thought that it was Friday. I made the reservations myself, which just proves how forgetful I am. So the end is in sight.

The BAS system actually includes throat clearing. Thanks to Lazy Iguana for the BAS acronym.

So it's dry sniff, sniff, clear throat, sniff, sniff...RUN.

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Boring stuff...what did you expect?

Friday I took sister Bonnie to City Island. We walked the entire island. The scenery is very lovely, and of course, she loved it.

Later we went out for Chinese food. We drove up the river just for the view.

Saturday we took a tour of the Commonwealth's Capitol Building. Bonnie was properly impressed by this wonderful building. I've seen a LOT of capitol buildings, and I've never seen one any nicer than this one. There are some that rival it on the outside, but none that IMHO are as impressive inside. YOUKNOWWHATIMEAN?

We ate at the Fire House on Second St. Nice. Thanks, Lucinda for the gift certificate (Or whatever the heck you are calling yourself now. It's not nice to fool your mother that way.)

Bonnie loved everything. YouknowwhatI'msayin'?

 Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Just shoot me

Okay. I know that things could be worse. How much worse I could stand, I don't know. Bonnie follows me around. Constantly. When I'm in the computer room, she opens the closed door and says, "Ha! I tracked you down!" giggle. She's taken to getting up at the crack of dawn, and will not go to bed until I've retired for the evening.

Good news is that she sniffs all the time. Dry sniff. Habit she's had ALL of her life. She's two years older than I am, so I've heard this sniff my entire life. Doesn't bother me. Nice little alert system. I can sometimes make a dash into a bathroom when I hear the sniff approach. Works for me.

Five and a half days left.

 Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Travel with my sister

I took my sister Bonnie to Baltimore's Inner Harbor today. dddragon and her older (by one minute) twin went with us. (Younger-by-one-minute twin is at camp.)

Bonnie talked the hour and a half it took to drive to Baltimore, but it was bearable because I drove and didn't have to carry the entire burden of listening and nodding. dddragon was a big help. Grandtwin played one of those games...Gameboy or like that...never opened her mouth on the way down there. That's okay. I'm proud of her for not rolling her eyes even once. Well, I didn't see her roll her eyes. She might have been. I was driving as I said. Coulda been some eye rolling. Never know.

Bonnie and dddragon got into a small argument about whether or not it's okay for a man to wear a kilt in a workplace. dddragon has a co-worker who occasionally does that. Also, she has a co-worker who, while in the process of a sex change, dressed in women's clothing. Bonnie almost had a heart attack. I don't want Bonnie having a heart attack. She wouldn't be able to go home. Can't have that. No siree. YaknowwhatImean? YaknowwhatImsayin?

We raised our children to believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I'm proud of dddragon for taking the stand that it's perfectly fine for a man to wear a kilt or a dress if he choses to. But I absolutely, positively, cannot have ol' Bonnie getting sick here! Nope. Wouldn't be prudent.

Half of Bonnie's conversation is, "You know what I mean?" said as quickly as possible, and one fourth is, "You know what I'm sayin?" also said very quickly. This leaves just one-fourth for pointing out everything. I mean everything. "Pretty flowers." "There's a cow." "That's an old building." "Ya'll have some real old buildings up here." "My stars, I never saw such old buildings." "There's another old building."

Apparently we have a couple of old buildings in the south central PA/northern MD area.

But the good news is that Bonnie loved the National Aquarium. It is a wonderful place and she appreciated it. Every step of it. She loved it over and over.

We ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Had a yummy meal. Bought postcards for Bonnie to send, took pictures, etc. Great weather. Bonnie didn't talk as much on the way home. She nodded off.

I love Bonnie. I truly wish that I liked her better.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Survival strategy

My sister Bonnie follows me around in the house...talking. She says "You know what I mean?" constantly. Sometimes she will vary it a little, "You know what I'm sayin'?" She's from Memphis. VERY southern accent. Cute in small doses. Bonnie has NO SMALL doses. She ends each statement with, "but, um"... So that she never is finished talking.

So I'm developing some strategies.

Strategies for survival: sleeping 16 hours a day - sudden bouts of constipation and/or diarrhea that require hours in the bathroom - relay teams of friends/family who call me frequently - movie marathons - visions of how wonderful it will be when two weeks is over - mentally composing chapters in a David Sedaris type novel I will write - arm twisting dddragon and Lucinda to take relief shifts - giving thanks I don't live with her permanently - realization that I probably don't need to listen or answer to most of the chatter - seeing myself on the isle of Capri at some future date.

Bonnie is a good person. However, she is so nervous that she will make YOU nervous too. She calls home to her family several times a day to be sure that they know exactly when to go to the bathroom, and how much toilet paper to use. Her husband has stopped answering the phone. She has even called the neighbors to see what her family is up to. Amazing.

My two sisters who have died always avoided Bonnie at all costs. And here I PAID to have Bonnie come up here. Talk about amazing! But I think dying to avoid Bonnie was going too far. I used to just MISS my sisters. Now I'm pretty annoyed to be left with this one. I gotta talk to my head...about this.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just another day

I took the good advice that some of you have given me and took my sister to a movie today. Saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
My husband says that it's good at first, and then just gets too silly. My sister loved it. She loves everything.

I agree with my husband... sort of. It starts out well, but then gets pretty silly. Still I enjoyed it. I was in the mood for silly. And I was in the mood for NO TALKING. A miracle did occur. Bonnie doesn't talk during a movie! Nice surprise. I like that in a movie-watcher. My husband doesn't talk during movies either, so I was a happy camper.

Now both of them are asking "When are we going to eat" So, bye.

 Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

Chocolate World Entrance Posted by Hello

A day at Hershey

Today my husband and I took Bonnie (my sister) to Hershey Chocolate World and then to the Hershey Gardens.

She loves everything. She really enjoyed the Chocolate World tour. I bought tee shirts for her to take home to her grandchildren. Naturally, when you are in Hershey, you eat CHOCOLATE. Boy, I do love chocolate!

The Gardens are in wonderful bloom. Acres and acres of beautiful flowers, most especially roses. No way to describe it. Again, she loved it. We also saw the butterfly exhibit. They are so light and airy, and they flutter all around you.

Temperature was just right. Bonnie talked a lot as usual, but I dealt with it better. Just smiled a lot.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My head hurts, my EARS hurt...

Only 11 days to go. I can do it. I invited my sister here. I paid for her ticket to fly here. I knew she talked non-stop. Okay. I asked for it. I can do this. Yes I can.

But it ain't easy friends.

She's a good person. A sweet person. But oh, boy, she must be afraid that if she stops talking that her lips will grow shut. No danger of that!

Today I took her hiking at the lovely nature trail at Wildwood Park. She thought it was beautiful. She's very appreciative of everything.

 Posted by Hello

travels with my sister

The good news about my sister Bonnie is that she is easily amused. She loves everything. That goes a long way with me.

I took her to the Shoe House in Hellam, PA (The map will say York, Pa. Well, of course, it doesn't say anything, you have to read it.)

She loved the shoe house, and it truly is unique. Fun. We had a private tour, since no one else was there. Yep, we had ice cream. Yummy.

Then we went to Gettysburg, which she also liked a lot. I took lots of photos of her there, and with the shoe house also. She doesn't get to go many places and I want her to have something to show off.

The bad news about Bonnie...wait for it...the family knows it's coming...SHE NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER, SHUTS UP. It's amazing that she finds time to breathe.

 Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nothing much

Yesterday I had fun shopping with dddragon's twin girls at Park City Mall in Lancaster, PA. Boy, we SHOPPED! Got lots of summer stuff for the girls. Good day.

I will not be blogging every single day for the next two weeks because I will have a houseguest. I will READ your blog, and maybe I will blog occasionally.

I was born the fourth of four girls. We've lost two sisters to cancer. So now we are two. My sister Bonnie is arriving from Memphis today to visit with me for two weeks. I'll be taking her places like the Shoe House in Hellam. It's a real house. "Honeymooners and elderly couples once stayed at the Shoe House. Today, it's open to tourists and ice cream enthusiasts. Its facade is protected from substantial changes by a historic easement." You can check it out at
Hellam shoehouse

I also will probably take her to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Hershey Park. Places like that. I haven't seen her in about two years. She hasn't come up here in a coon's age. So everything will be new to her.

 Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Shop 'til we drop!

"Ring, ring, the telephone rings,
Somebody says, Baby, whatcha doin'?"

No! Wait, somebody sez, "Granny can you take us shopping for clothes?"

Yes! Grandmother heaven.
I'm taking my twin granddaughters to the big city to take shop.

See ya!
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I Love All of my Blogging Buddies

We Is Friends!

I just want all of you to know how much I care about you. You make my days.

You Smile, I Smile.

You Hurt, I Hurt.

You Cry, I Cry.

You Jump Off A Bridge.

I'm Gonna Miss Your Blog!
 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reagan's Last Words

It's been quite a while now since Reagan died, and I don't know whether or not any of you watched the memorial service for Ronald Reagan, but if you did, you probably noticed that Bill and Hillary were both dozing off.

President Ronald Reagan, who never missed a chance for a good one-liner, raised his head out of his casket and said...
"I see the Clintons are finally sleeping together."

 Posted by Hello

Nothin' to say

Remember the A-ha song, Take on Me, with lyrics that went

"Talking away
I don't know what I'm to say
I'll say it anyway"

That's me today. I have nothing to say, and yet I have this irrepressible urge to say it anyway.

In case you missed it, here are the 2004 winners of the Washington Post's contest that asks readers to supply alternate meanings for various words.

1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

14. Pokemon (n), a Jamaican proctologist.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n), the belief that when you die your Soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

As if you aren't sick enough of this S**t

This is what America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, has to say on the subject:
"Michael Jackson is back at Neverland. Do you know where your prepubescent son is, dear? Yes, dear friends, Michael Jackson is free. Honestly, white people get away with everything! So, one more jury has found someone "not guilty by reason of celebrity." Surely, you are not naive enough to be surprised, are you? As Paris Hilton has proved, even being an inane, drugged-out, pornographic whore is utterly laudable just as long as we recognize your vacant mug from a weekly magazine. So, once again, it is cookies and porn time back at Neverland. As if young Hispanic boys didn't have enough to worry about with Catholic priests lurking around every confessional booth!"

Now I swear to The Devil and The Little Bar of Soap that I will never speak of MJ again. (Figure I better hedge my bets on this swearing stuff.)

 Posted by Hello

Attack cat

dddragon posts today that it is her cat Chatham's 18th birthday. Chatham was our first grandcat. Actually our first grandpet of any kind. Makes sense because dddragon is our oldest child. She will tell you just the nice things about this cat. But I have my own story.

Last year when they were preparing to go on vacation, ddd's husband (she refers to him as DH on her blog. Aral had made his pez Nod Donald Duck Pez I think. Ummmm. Maybe the DH stands for "dumb husband." I don't want to be caught calling one of my sons-in-law dumb, so I'll call him Nod.) ANYHOO--where was I?

Okay. Last year Nod decided that he was not going to go with ddd and the grandtwins on vacation because Chatham was taking medicine for his liver (I think maybe he's a closet drinker. The cat I mean, not the son-in-law.) and only Nod was able to get this medicine down the cat's throat. Normally I take care of the cats whenever their family is away.

I said, "Hey, I can do this. Go with the family!" So, I was invited to their house to prove that I could in fact get these pills into Chatham. I went over there, grabbed the cat by the back of his neck, pulled his head back, put the pill down his throat, and that was that. Nod was impressed. No problem, he can go on vacation.

So, each day while they're away I go over, get the pill into Chatham, hang around for an hour 'cause he can't eat until an hour after the pill. Then I feed the cats and hang around to keep Salem from eating Chatham's food. Salem is a pig. Well, Salem is a cat, but you know what I mean.

I go back at night of course to feed them, scoop the poop---my very favorite thing, and just in general give them "turn down" service at the old hotel. These are pampered kitties.

Now, Chatham is getting a little bit more difficult to locate each morning. He hides here and there, often under a bed, but lots of different places, trying to avoid the bitch with the pill. He can't actually run...too old and too sick. He's a crafty critter, but I always catch him and give him the pill.

By day four he starts hissing at me frequently and fiercely. That cat.

By day five when I arrive there's a shotgun in a package on the front porch. That darn cat has logged onto the Internet and ordered a gun to use to take me out. HA! He can't unlock the door to get at the gun, so his plans are spoiled. I call UPS and send the weapon back. Hope ddd and Nod got a refund for it. Forgot to ask.

I'm still getting that pill down him every morning. Day six, I check the cookies on the cat computer (told you they're spoiled) and find that Chatham has contacted a hit man to get me. HA again! I'll just be careful. Park down the street, sneak in through the back. Like that.

Guess the cat had had enough. Next morning when I looked for him, he's right out in the open. Hmmm... I know something's up. I'm cautious. Too cautious in fact. I'm a little tentative when I give the pill, and he manages to spit it out. I grab it, and when I do, the little beastie bites my hand. A deep piercing hook of a bite. I had to pull his tooth out of my hand. But I get that pill in. So there! Take that!

I wash the hand. I mean, it's just a cat bite for gosh sakes. I must have been bitten by a cat before. But no, wait, it's swelling up. Looking funny. Can't call the doctor for a cat bite! Too silly. Too trivial. Next day, the hand and arm are a lot of different, interesting colors, and really, really BIG. It's going up my arm. So I call the doctor's office, scared that they would laugh in my ear. No, they don't laugh. "GET IN HERE," they say.

Turns out that lots of people end up on intravenous antibiotics for cat bits. Not me. I'm tough enough for a cat. I just have to take antibiotics for 10 days.

Happy birthday Chatham...and many more.

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Tell me why

Why can't car dealerships open on Sunday in Pennsylvania? Who are these Blue Laws helping/protecting?

Why can't greenhouse/nurseries open on Sunday in Pennsylvania? Wal-Mart and Kmart can sell plants and yard stuff, but the greenhouses and nurseries can't. What's up with that?

Why are the PA State Liquor Stores now open on Sunday, but the beer warehouses can't be? Is beer more dangerous to God than wine and whiskey?

Why won't my husband let me donate his bike to charity? He's old and has Parkinson's Disease (along with a BUNCH of other health problems). Has no balance. Hasn't ridden the thing in years. Why?

Why won't the very same husband allow the donation of at least a few of the more-than-fifty shirts he has hanging in his closet? How many can one man wear?

Why does this sweetie-of-a-guy keep buying shoes? Are straight men supposed to want that many shoes?

Why won't the husband give up a book? Any book? SO MANY BOOKS! Is the house in danger of falling down? How much book-weight can a house hold up to?

Why do weeds grow with or without water, nutriment, or care? Why does grass grow in the flowerbeds but not always so well on the lawn?

Why do cars get old and "die"? Houses age well. Why can't cars?

Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?

Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines? The AMT that I use, really, truly has Braille. Honest.

What if there were no hypothetical questions? Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Try, try again.

Got up early as usual, but started reading blogs before I even went downstairs for coffee. Now that's just wrong.

Lucinda and the son-in-law are coming over for dinner and Scrabble again tonight. The kids are just smarter than we are. It's sad, but what can I say? So I'm plotting a new strategy.

Last time I thought that beer would do it. I fixed a pretty nice meal of leg of lamb, baked potatoes, salad, cooked carrots, and corn bread, but didn't have a dessert. I thought if I just kept the beer flowing, they'd be, well, you know, less smart maybe.

They were still too smart for us. Those guys. Lucinda is a true linguist and the son-in-law has a great memory, has memorized all the two and three letter words in the Scrabble dictionary, and is great at strategy. Whatadaya going to do? Lose is the way we always handle it.

When Aral PPP took us to Boston recently we ate at an Italian restaurant were Niks and I both had Spaghetti Carbonara. Boy, it was good.

Lucinda and the SIL are both skinny runners. Those type people love carbs. I figure they'll eat up big time if I make the Spaghetti Carbonara. So I downloaded a recipe for it.

I just got back from shopping for the ingredients. Calls for something called prosciutto, pronounced pro-shoot-o. I'm not so sure I'm spelling it correctly. Also parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Never heard of it before. I'll have to grate it--always hurt my fingers. I had a hard time finding this stuff. I was in the store about half the day, asking employees "Where's the parmigiano-reggiano cheese" Getting answers like, "They keep the weird stuff over by the deli."

So, along with the spaghetti dish, we'll have garlic bread, a green salad, a fruit salad, a dessert (egg custard pie), and of course beer, beer, and more beer. Dazzle them with mind-dulling food AND the beer.

Of course, we don't have a chance. But wish us luck anyway. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Let me bore you.

A couple of people have told me that my blog doesn't live up to its "boring" title. Humph. I mean, let's be real. I bore myself. Here's another exciting day:

Got up and met my friend Irene. We start our walk in the park at 6:30 AM. This time of year there are about 6 or 7 people who walk that early in "our" park, and about that many who are leaving by the time we get there. Mostly just pretty casual walkers, but then again there are some like a young woman today who was running with her dog. When the dog stops to piddle on a tree, she keeps her legs pumping. Show-off.

Then I came home, showered, and took my car to be serviced. There's a story.

I love my car. It's a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. We bought it last August I guess. Took it on a two-month cross-country trip to everywhere really: Chicago, Mall of America in Minneapolis, the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Devil's Tower, Crater Lake, Seattle, Salem OR, Northern CA, Lake Tahoe, collected a lot of Capitols, etc. Got great mileage and never got a scratch or a ding on the car. Drove 8,000 miles total.

Fast forward to this last trip to MA, Vermont, NH and Maine. It's closing in on a year that we've had this car, and no one has yet banged their car door into it hard enough to leave a ding. I'm getting nervous. You just know that first ding has to happen. I'm parking away from everyone else, especially cars with those big, big doors. One evening I park and decide that the car next to us on my side is too close for comfort. I just KNOW that those people are going to come back to their big ole car and DING me. So I decide to back up to park somewhere else. I swing back and around, and scratch my car on some building material that is piled by the swimming pool. (The motel is remodeling.) Arghhhhhhh. I'm SO MAD AT MYSELF. S**t. How can I be so stupid?

Okay, so back to this boring blog day that I'm currently in. I take the car to the place we bought it, get it inspected, serviced, washed, and they tell me that they don't do body work there. I'll have to make another appointment at a different place for that. Those guys.

They have a nice waiting-area arrangement there. I watched a middle-aged woman dressed in tight, expensive exercise clothes smile and flirt with the service manager. (She wasn't going to exercise. Bet she never sweats.) She kept touching his arm, batting her eyes. A rich bitch in heat is not a pretty picture.

On the way home I pass a Dairy Queen. Do I actually PASS it? No. I stopped. Now Dairy Queen has some little bitty ice cream cones that even Weight Waters will allow on their diet. Do I get one of those? 'Course not. I get a banana split. I tell myself that it's fruit, protein (I got the nuts on it.), and dairy. Health food.

Two hours later, Niks and I meet our friends Don and Leah for lunch at Perkins. I got a salad, 'cause I'm so good. After that I get the French Silk Chocolate pie. 'Cause I'm so bad. Oh, well. Some daysPosted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Couldn't resist posting this. Truly modest cats would have on a nice one-piece suit. Posted by Hello

It's Just Another Day in Paradise

I cleaned the refrigerator today. I'm a decent housekeeper, so it wasn't terrible or anything, but it's still amazing what you find in the frig.

Two plastic containers each with the remains of a can of cranberry sauce. I serve cranberry sauce any time we have chicken. So why didn't I finish the container that first landed in the refrigerator? Guess it got shoved to the back, and I opened a new one. I think the shelf life of commercially canned cranberry sauce is probably a hundred years or so.

Also there were two opened jars of the same kind of pickles. I combined those, as I had done with the cranberry sauce. There is a lot of beer in there too. I put a bunch in for last Saturday when Lucinda and the son-in-law were coming over. They drank a disappointing amount. So I'm demanding that they come back this Saturday and try to help empty the frig. Also there are 6 cans of Coors Light. Two friends of ours like Coors Light, but somehow they never end up drinking it here. Just when we're out together. Does beer keep forever? I need to know.

Then there is always the produce that goes bad. Those bags of pre-washed salad that are so popular these days don't keep very well. I wonder if they are really, truly, WASHED well enough? We haven't gotten sick so far.

Why do refrigerators have such deep shelves anyway? Seems to me that anything that works its way to the back is doomed to rot or mold. And how do crumbs get into a refrigerator?

You can tell I have a very exciting life.
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Just thinking

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.

Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors...but they all exist very nicely in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Working for God on earth does not pay much, but some say that His retirement plan is out of this world. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Food Pantry

I volunteer in a food pantry across the river in a neighboring town, and today was my day to work.

I’m sure that areas around the country handle the need for food pantries in different ways. In our area there is a big Food Bank, and then we have food pantries scattered around the region in locations that supposedly make it easier for the people who need the food. You can donate food or money to the Food Bank, or directly to the food pantries. Our Food Bank sells food to the pantry where I volunteer. (The Bank has to somehow recover their costs. They are too big to be staffed with just volunteers.) The food we get from the Food Bank costs our pantry about 8 cents per pound. Doesn’t matter what the food is.

When I first found out that the FB sold food to my pantry, I thought that it was best for people to contribute food directly to us. But it isn’t necessarily so. We make up packages for families based on size, and some other criteria, such as ages of children. Contributions are hodge-podge. We can end up with some odd items, and not know who to give them too. Buying food from the big FB enables us to give out consistent food packages. But contributions are also wonderful. We get bread daily from day-old bread places, also ground beef, butter, eggs, and sometimes cheese from another source.

If you have any extra money in your budget, and not everyone does, please try to donate to your local food bank, food pantry, or soup kitchen. All good causes. What to donate? For food banks and pantries, it has to be non-perishable, and should in non-breakable containers-- plastic jars instead of glass. Food kitchens can use perishable items, and big bulk sizes also. The FB’s and FP’s need individual family sizes.

Good items are peanut butter, canned or powdered soup, canned or powdered milk, baby food, canned fruit, cereal, rice, noodles, canned spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables, complete-meals-in-a-box type food, canned meat (like tuna and Spam), juice in plastic bottles or cans, tea bags, crackers, boxed things like cheese and macaroni, the list is long.

Our little pantry gets no federal, state, county, or city monies. We donate our time and our money to keep the place going. Several churches donate money, and my own church donates food regularly. At age 63, I’m the youngest volunteer there. Everyone else must be at least 110 and older. I’m always afraid that they’ll all die and I’ll be stuck. Don’t laugh. This is a real fear. Also a real possibility!

We truly do serve an important purpose. No matter what, there will always be people who cannot feed themselves and their children. I always dread going in to work at the pantry, but each time I leave, I feel good. Not just about the public that we serve, but about those really old people who volunteer there. Makes me feel young.

Monday, June 06, 2005


I got a renewal letter from TV Guide today. The envelope has a sticker that says, (well, it doesn't SAY anything. You have to read it.) "Urgent! It's time to renew! Prices are going to go up SOON." There are stickers on top of the sticker that read, "Yes, I want to beat the increase." Or "No, I'll pay more later." Arghhhhhhhh! So annoying. As if I would return their renewal offer with "No, I'm stupid so I'll pay more later." So dumb.

So I check my subscription. It's paid through January 2006. Seven full months to go, but it's urgent that I renew now. I have to reply immediately, or this wonderful offer is gone, off the table forever. HA! I hate it that the magazine people think everyone is a fool.

I've heard that the most dangerous thing you can want is MORE. Well, the TV Guide folks wanted too much more. I'm not going to renew when the subscription is actually done. The TV section in the newspaper is good enough for me. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Curses. Foiled Again

News flash. Update on Scrabble game. Lucinda and the son-in-law drank our beer, ate our food, and whipped our @$$. We had fun. Always a nice evening with those two. Lucinda is so funny when she gets to the laughing-so-hard-she-falls-off-her-chair stage. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Wine, Beer, Scrabble, Treachery

Lucinda and her husband are coming over for dinner and to play Scrabble tonight. They are very good at the game. They swear that they don't practice this diversion. In fact they claim that the only time they play it is when they come over here, or are on vacation.

But the son-in-law always, always wins. Lucinda generally comes in second. Poor old Lucy and Niks struggle not to be the one who comes in dead last. I think the son-in-law has memorized all the three letter words that are in the Scrabble Dictionary. I mean really. I'm not going to stoop to that level. Besides, I don't have his memory. He probably read the darn list once, and then it was his forever.

Now, if you've read Lucinda's blog, you know that she can get a little tipsy on occasion. So can the son-in-law, but it never impairs his game skills. (Actually he never seems to get tipsy when they are here, just at their annual backyard family picnic.) I'm thinking that tonight I might have to get them flat-out zonked if I ever hope to win a Scrabble game against them. Their favorite beer is Beck's. My refrigerator is now FULL of the stuff. I'm just going to keep on pouring until I get them to lose their concentration. They are both thin to the point of being skinny, so I figure five beers (or less) each will do it. But I'm prepared with an entire case of booze. We've got empty bedrooms. They can sleep it off here. No danger of drunken driving.  Posted by Hello